Can you charge an electric vehicle with rooftop solar panels?

Do you want to cut down the amount of money you spend on gas? Then you should get an electric vehicle and charge it with rooftop solar panels. As energy costs increase, it is not a good idea to recharge your electric car by connecting it to the grid. Hence, investing in a solar panel system is a great idea available to consider.

Can you really charge an electric vehicle with rooftop solar panels?

Yes, it is possible for you to charge an electric vehicle with rooftop solar panels. However, you need to make sure that you have the right solar panels, right batteries, and other accessories, so that you can create an effective solar EV charging station. Then you can stop worrying about being dependent on using electricity to charge the electric vehicle.

Components you need for your solar EV charging station

The main components you need to purchase for creating your own solar charging station include solar photovoltaic panels, battery, charge controller, solar inverter, and EV supply equipment. Continue to read and we will be sharing more details about them with you.

  • Solar panels 

Solar panels are capable of using photovoltaic technology for converting photons out of sun rays to electricity. You will be able to use solar panels and get energy required for charging your EV.

 However, you need to be careful to pick the right number of panels needed for charging. It is better if you can get solar panels that can deliver at least 4 kWh energy. 

It is also important to keep in mind that a solar panel is not 100% efficient. Therefore, it is better if you can get around 5 different 400W solar panels.

  • Solar inverter 

Solar inverters are playing a major role behind the functionality of your solar EV charging station. To recharge your car, you need to have AC current. 

However, solar panels are producing DC current. This is where you should be using a solar inverter in order to convert DC current into AC current. 

Energy generated out of your solar panels would fluctuate throughout the day as well. This is another reason why you should be purchasing a solar inverter. 

The solar inverter would come along with a MPPT solar charging controller, which would optimize energy production throughout the day. Hence, you don’t need to worry too much about the solar energy production that varies based on sun, run, and clouds.

  • Charge controller 

By using a charge controller, you will be able to regulate the power output of your solar panel correctly. On top of that, you can continue to charge the battery correctly as well. There are two main types of solar charge controllers available out there to consider. 

They include MPPT charge controllers and PWM charge controllers. Out of these, PWM charge controllers are less efficient when compared to others. Hence, it is better if you can always settle down with a MPPT type charge controller.

  • Battery 

You will need to have a battery, which can store your generated PV energy. This is where you should go ahead and buy Lithium batteries. It is true that Lithium batteries are more expensive when compared to lead-acid batteries. 

However, they are more durable and ideal for intermittent charging. A good lithium battery can serve you for up to 10 years.

For charging an electric car, you will need to have around four 24V 100Ah batteries. But if you are getting lead acid batteries, you will need to have around 7 of them. 

  • EV supply equipment 

Last but not least, you will need to have EV supply equipment for charging your electric car. This is because electric cars are not designed to be charged directly out of batteries or solar panels. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are using the right equipment to ensure the safety of your vehicle. 

You need to be using the right electrical equipment as well as other software required for delivering electric energy safely and efficiently for the vehicle. It is better if you can purchase a Level 2 charging system with 240V output for this. 

Assembling your EV charging station

After purchasing all equipment, you will need to connect them properly. First, you should mount the solar panels on your roof. 

Make sure that you pick the right location for mounting solar panels, so that they can harness maximum sunlight. 

Next, you will need to mount your solar inverter and charge controller. They need to be mounted inside your home as they are not weatherproof. 

Make sure that you find a safe place for keeping the batteries. Then you can connect the charge controller with the solar panels and batteries. In other words, the charge controller should create a link in between your batteries and your solar panels. 

Then you need to connect your batteries to the solar inverter. The EV supply equipment should be connected to the solar inverter accordingly.

All instructions on how to install will be provided to you along with the package. You may follow them and proceed with installation on your own. 

There are plenty of videos available on YouTube for you to refer as well. If you still find it as a difficult task to complete installation, you may think about seeking the assistance of a professional.

Final words

Having your own solar EV charging station is a great idea. We strongly recommend all electric car owners out there to consider this idea and go for it. It is true that you will have to invest a considerable amount of money on it. 

However, this would be a great clean energy investment. That’s because you can remain independent from the grid. On top of that, you can continue to save a lot of money in the long run. There is no need to worry about increasing electricity prices in future as well.